If you are suffering from the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, then you are more than likely looking for ways to reduce the size of your prostate.
The best way to promote good prostate health is by all-natural methods.
Taking simple can have a significant impact on any symptoms of BPH and other prostate problems.
This article will discuss the best ways to help prevent an enlarged prostate.
What is the Prostate?
The prostate is a small gland, no bigger than a large walnut. It is a male reproductive organ, located between the bladder and the penis, close to the rectum. Only men have this gland, and it is essential for reproduction.
It makes fluid known as prostatic fluid, which constitutes 30% of the semen and provides nourishment to the sperms.
Sperm are produced in the testes, and semen is the fluid needed for sperm to travel and survive.
The urethra is a tube that runs through the center of the prostate and is essential for the proper functioning of the entire urinary tract.
If the prostate is compromised, you will have trouble urinating, and with the transporting of semen and sperm for ejaculation.
Causes of Prostate Enlargement
There are various reasons why a prostate gland may become enlarged. Here are some of them:
- The primary cause of an enlarged prostate is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
This occurs when the cells of the prostate begin to multiply. The extra cells cause the prostate to increase in size and squeeze the urethra, limiting the flow of urine.
BPH is considered a normal condition of male aging and is common in many men over the age of 50.
Without treatment, the symptoms of BPH can negatively impact your quality of life.
- Prostatitis, an infection of the prostate, is another condition that causes prostate enlargement.
This is not related to BPH, which is not an infection. Bacteria often cause prostatitis. It can start suddenly or gradually and is characterized by fever, chills, and nausea.
- Prostate cancer is the most dangerous condition that will cause the prostate to be enlarged. This cancer is usually slow-growing, but in some cases, it has been known to be aggressive.
In this instance, it can spread to the rest of the body before it is diagnosed.
Research by the US Prostate Cancer Foundation reported that 1 in 14 men between the ages of 60 and 69 are diagnosed with prostate cancer, with the majority being over the age of 65.
Symptoms of Prostate Enlargement
- Urinary problems, including frequent urination/ urge to urinate, especially at night (nocturia).
- Inability to urinate.
- Trouble getting the stream going, which is often and weak, resulting in incomplete emptying of the bladder.
- Dribbling at the end of the urinary stream, and water leakage from the residue in the bladder.
- Painful urination, and sometimes blood in the urine.
- A potential loss of bladder control.
These symptoms may be mild, to begin with, but can become serious if not attended to. Note that BPH is not necessarily a sign of cancer. A visit to the doctor can establish what the problem is.
Risk factors for Prostate Enlargement
Benign prostatic hyperplasia appears to run in families. Men who have a close relative diagnosed when still under the age of 60, have a 30% chance of developing BPH.
Other risk factors include:
- A lack of exercise. Research conducted at Harvard University Health noted that regular exercise could reduce your risk factor of BPH by up to 50%.
- Alcoholic drinks and high salt intake stimulate urine production and contribute to risks of prostate enlargement.
- A poor diet high in acidic foods such as red meat and full dairy may also be a risk factor.
- Fortunately, most of these risk factors can be substantially reduced by lifestyle and dietary changes.
How to naturally reduce prostate size?
An increasing number of studies have shown how important the role of good nutrition is when it comes to maintaining a healthy prostate.
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats may to protect the prostate by maintaining hormone balance, thereby reducing the risk of developing prostate disease.
There are even some foods and natural extracts which have been shown to reduce prostate volume which we will now look at below.
Natural remedies for prostate size:
- Beta sitosterol: is a plant sterol which has been shown to help reduce the symptoms of BPH, specifically by improving urine flow and the ability to empty the bladder.
- Vitamin D: The impact of vitamin D on prostate volume and BPH has shown promising results; Vitamin D analogues of up to 6000 IU/day have shown to decrease prostate volume in BPH patients.
- Curcumin: has been shown to significantly lower prostate weight and prostate volume, as well as reduce the expression of IGF1 among growth factors in prostate tissue.
- Zinc: Zinc supplements protect the prostate gland and suppress inflammation and enlargement.
- Boron: Strong evidence has shown that boron may play an important role in protecting men from prostate cancer. This powerful, yet often overlooked mineral reduces prostate cancer risk as well as lowering PSA levels, according to some studies.
- Pgygeum– Phytosterols found in plants produce an anti-inflammatory effect, helping to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of BPH.
Foods to avoid:
- Red meat often contains hormones, particularly testosterone, that are added to the animal’s diets to increase their size. Studies have shown that daily eating of red meat triples the risk of prostate enlargement.
- Dairy, like meat, is linked to added hormones and raises the risk of BPH. Reducing the intake of dairy products like butter, cheese, and milk, can help reduce symptoms.
- Caffeine is known to act as a diuretic which increases the need to urinate. Lowering the intake of caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, and sodas, will help.
- Alcohol is known to stimulate urine production and promote difficulty with urination. Men suffering from BPH reported that drastically cutting down on alcohol have eased their symptoms.
- A high sodium intake, from processed foods like hamburgers, hot dogs, pies, and other takeaway snacks.
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats is highly recommended, these include:
- Coldwater fish like salmon, trout, and sardines. They are high in omega 3 fatty acids which help to reduce inflammation in the body, as well as the prostate.
- Tomatoes, berries, and citrus fruits are rich in antioxidants and vit C, which combat free radicals rampaging round in the body, causing inflammation and infections in many organs.
- Leafy green vegetables contain a chemical called sulforaphane. This chemical is believed to target cancer cells and promote a healthy prostate. Good options to include are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.
- Nuts are rich in trace minerals such as zinc, which is found in high concentrations in the prostate. Tests have shown that zinc may help balance testosterone and DHT in the prostate, and so help to prevent enlargement. Shellfish and legumes are also rich in zinc.
- More research is needed, but onions and garlic may also be helpful to the prostate.
- Changing your diet can be quite effective in managing the symptoms of BPH, but other lifestyle changes may also be helpful.
Other ways to help naturally manage prostate enlargement…
- Reducing stress levels.
- Give up smoking to prevent the narrowing of tubes and blood vessels.
- Drink as little fluids as you can in the evening to cut down on night urination.
- Limit fluid intake to no more than 2 liters per day, but beware of dehydration.
- Try and empty the bladder when urinating, using your bladder muscle to squeeze everything out.
- Do a series of pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the bladder and abdomen muscles.
- There are also bladder training exercises you can do.
- Avoid medications such as diuretics and antihistamines.
Treatment Options for Prostate Enlargement
If your symptoms are mild, do not bother you too much and you do not want the side effects of medication, you may opt to monitor things, and see your doctor once a year – or sooner should your symptoms change.
Drugs are the conventional treatment for an enlarged prostate. Different Types of BPH drugs include:
- Tamsulosin (Flomax)
- Alfuzosin (Uroxatral)
- Doxazosin (Cardura)
- Prazosin (Minipress)
- Silodosin (Rapaflo)
- Terazosin (Hytrin)
- 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors
- Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar)
- Dutasteride (Avodart)
- Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitors
- Tadalafil (Cialis)
Medications to treat BPH include alpha-blockers, such as tamsulosin, which relax the neck of the bladder and the muscles of the prostate, easing and relieving the symptoms.
However, although it works to block the activity of α-adrenergic receptors, which primarily mediate smooth muscle contraction, it has severe side effects, including erection problems and erectile dysfunction.
Prostate surgery to partly or entirely remove the prostate gland can treat your symptoms. The intervention will depend on the severity of your symptoms. Your doctor will help you determine the best surgery based on your circumstances.
Prostate volume (size) is a critical consideration in selecting the best surgical intervention for your BPH because complications increase with prostate volume.
- Transurethral needle ablation (TUNA): TUNA removes prostatic tissues by delivering a low radiofrequency power through a small urethral catheter inserted through the penis.
- Transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT): TUMT removes prostatic tissues by delivering microwave energy through a urethral catheter. Like TUNA, TUMT induces coagulation necrosis and has reduced recovery time (Hoffman et al., 2012).
- High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU): HIFU destroys prostatic tissues by focusing ultrasound beams through a probe inserted into the rectum. HIFU can ablate prostate tissues without damaging surrounding tissues.
- Transurethral electrovaporization (TUEVAP): TUEVAP vaporizes prostate tissue by heating a ball inserted through the urethra.
- Urolift procedure: Urolift is a technique that involves using implants inserted into the prostate to pull it away from the urethra.
- Prostate artery embolization (PAE): Prostate artery embolization is a minimally invasive technique that uses a special dye to identify prostate blood supply and blocks them to starve the prostate gland.
- Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP): TURP removes parts of the prostate gland through a resectoscope (a combined viewing and tissue removal thing tube) passing through the urethra.
- Laser surgery: KTP laser vaporization and holmium laser enucleation (HoLEP) uses a laser to remove the prostate tissue and treat BPH symptoms.
- Robotic prostatectomy: Robotic prostatectomy is a type of keyhole surgery to remove all or parts of the prostate gland through a small cut in the abdomen.
Early detection is the key to success, but unfortunately, many men are reluctant to talk about urinary difficulties. They find it embarrassing and somewhat “unmanly” to discuss what they consider to be a weakness.
Very often, men don’t seek medical advice until things are almost out of control, and they are experiencing distressing episodes of leaking from a bladder which does not empty properly.
The first symptom of prostate enlargement is a change in your urinary habits, which may at first be mild.
However, any change in the urinary system should not be taken lightly, as complications at a later stage may seem to be insurmountable.
The prostate gland may be tiny and seemingly insignificant, but it controls a large part of your system, namely the urinary tract.
If this is not working as well as it should be, you could be suffering from prostate enlargement.
Don’t delay – have it investigated by your urologist. Your life may depend on it!